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NECC Esports Team Takes Championship

Submitted by on April 30, 2020 – 3:29 pm
esports team in front of gaming consoles

Esports coach David Arivella (left) with Esports Team members in the gaming lab.

The Northern Essex Community College eSports Rocket League team has captured the NJCAA Championship for the spring 2020 season with a 4-0 sweep over Snow College of Utah in the best of seven play. Match scores were 3-0, 2-1(OT), 6-4 and 4-1.

Christian Bova (Unky) of Lawrence got the Knights on the board first just over a minute into the first match when he put a high through ball straight into the back of the goal. Erik D’Attilio(Emanc6) of Boxford, gave NECC a two-goal cushion when he tucked a shot into the lower right corner past a streaking defender at the midway point of the period and added a second goal with thirty-five seconds remaining in the period for the 3-0 result.

The second match was more of a defensive battle, after falling behind in the first minute, the Knights would tie the match-up at one apiece on goal from Emonkc6 before heading to a sudden death overtime period to determine the match winner. Just nine seconds into the extra session Bova would score on a rebound shot from Edwin Guzman (Kizek) of Lawrence.

In the third match, NECC would twice rally back from one goal deficits for before going ahead 3-2 and securing the match when Guzman scored on a quick touch on the immediate restart after Bova tied the match at two with his second goal of the period. D’Attillio would add two and Bova one goal including the match winner to account for the 6-4 final in the third match.

In the final match to conclude the sweep, Guzman put the Knights up 1-0 just over a minute before Snow would not the match at one. It wasn’t long before D’Attilio would rattle off three more goals before the final horn to result in the 4-1 match final give the Knights their first esports Championships.

A very proud Knights head coach David Arivella had this to say on the team’s championship, “The practice and dedication our players put into this season was incredible, especially during these stressful times. Seeing our Rocket League team follow through and come out with our first NJCAAE championship victory was amazing and I truly respect and commend their accomplishment.”

Northern Essex launched its Esports team in the fall of 2019 and opened an NECC Esports Lab in Room 103 in the B Building. The lab includes 10 gaming computers and a projector and has become a gathering center for teammates, who practice their craft, work on their homework, and socialize. The coach is David Arivella, a Northern Essex computer science alum who works as an academic technology assistant in the college’s library.

Esports is a rapidly growing varsity sport on college campuses. In the summer of 2016, just seven colleges and universities had varsity Esports programs. Today there are more than 170 programs and it continues to grow. Northeastern recently announced that it is starting a varsity Esports program, the first Division 1 program in New England.

For more information, contact Dan Blair, NECC Athletic Director, at

Northern Essex Community College competes as a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) and sponsors 12 varsity intercollegiate sports including baseball, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, softball, women’s volleyball, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s soccer, Esports and men’s and women’s track and field. For more information on Northern Essex Community College Athletics please visit the official website of Northern Essex Athletics.